Disney’s $180 million gamble on Maleficent looks to have paid off this weekend, with Angelina Jolie’s starring role carrying the film to a $70 million opening weekend, in spite of middling reviews. The film is as much a triumph for Jolie as World War Z was for husband Brad Pitt. They truly are Hollywood’s power couple.
The long-term prospects for Maleficent are a little hard to judge at this stage, of course, but a final domestic total in the $200 million–$250 million range seems likely. That seems to be about the limit for movies this year, with Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past both heading in that direction after falling 60% this weekend from their Memorial Day-fueled performances last week. With The Lego Movie and Captain America already having topped out at around $255 million, we are looking at a pile-up at the top of the chart for 2014.
The weekend’s other wide release fell flat. A Million Ways to Die in the West will earn about $17 million, according to Universal, barely ahead of Blended’s disappointing debut last weekend, and without a Monday holiday to help it along. The result is a major set-back for Seth MacFarlane after the triumphant performance of Ted two years ago.
Three films are making impressive starts in limited release this weekend. Korengal will earn over $15,000 from a single theater to top the totals by average, but Night Moves $24,000 from two locations is just as impressive. Elena will also post an average over $12,000, with an opening on a single screen.
One other film enjoying a good hold this weekend is Words and Pictures, with an average over $6,000 in its second weekend. It will be down about 6% from last weekend, while increasing from 10 to 13 theaters.
- Weekend Estimates
Bruce Nash email@example.com
Date posted: 2014-06-01